It Doesn't Have To Be Right…

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A new vocabulary for the critically-challenged


Over the last few days Lavie Tidhar, ubiquitous sf writer, has been putting together a tongue-in-cheek dictionary of new critical terms for science fiction. He calls it The Science Fiction Dictionary of New Criticism and you can find it here. A couple of days ago, this resulted in a few people providing him with suggested terms and definitions on Twitter. I came up with several, but they were a bit too silly to use. As you can see below…

Blogposer n, a writer who hopes to boost their book sales by regularly posting contentious articles to their blog.

Disstopia n, a pessimistic science fiction novel in which the characters show no respect to each other.

Lard sf n, a sub-genre of science fiction set in the near-future and in which the population of the earth is morbidly obese.

Slipsteam n, interstitial fiction on the border between the mainstream and steampunk genres.

Smearp v, the practice of a writer basing alien races/fauna in their book on unflattering portraits of enemies or rivals. Term derived from “calling a rabbit a smeerp”.

Spockalypse n, a type of science fiction in which the survivors of a global or galactic disaster are entirely unemotional and logical; or any global or galactic disaster brought about by people who are entirely unemotional and logical.

Fuckerization n, the practice of a writer inserting the names of enemies or rivals into a novel and having said characters meet gruesome ends. Term derived from tuckerization.

Pingularity n, a science fiction trope in which humans have themselves uploaded into microwave ovens.

Peckulative fiction n, a sub-genre of science fiction in which birds have taken over the earth.

Yurtual reality n, a science fiction trope describing any invented artificial environment which simulates the steppes of Central Asia.

8 thoughts on “A new vocabulary for the critically-challenged

  1. Tidhar is not /very/ ubuquitous. I’ve never heard of them, I’m afraid.

  2. Ah, I see it is in fact MR Tidhar. I didn’t notice. Nor my typo in “ubiquitous”. *Sigh* I blame the hangover…

  3. There’s a bit more to it than that, Ian!

    I don’t read many SF magazines any more – too expensive. I do read online, though, and buy books. I’ve never seen a book by him, never /heard/ of a book by him, not seen the odd and memorable name in Ansible or con programmes, not on panels, not anywhere that I can recall.

    But I am just quibbling here, of course. :¬)

    • If you read Strange Horizons, you’ll have come across his name. Likewise Interzone. And Clarkesworld, too. He had a steampunk novel published by Angry Robot last year, The Bookman; and another the year before by small press, ChiZine. And a novella by PS too.

      He’s around, if you look 🙂

  4. Have occasionally read SH; ought to more, really.

    Dropped my Interzone sub many many years ago – overall, despite a few great stories – many by Greg Egan, one of my favourite writers – I just found its tone too damned depressing.

    Clarkesworld I’ve never even heard of, nor the novel, I’m afraid.

    > He’s around, if you look

    … is not the same as ubiquitous. :¬)

    But it sounds like he soon will be, at this rate!

  5. Pingback: Ten Greatest Film Directors « It Doesn't Have To Be Right…

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